Eagles confirm top status - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Eagles confirm top status

By Roger Vaughan 18/06/2005 07:00:18 PM Comments (0)

The West Coast machine rolled over the top of Melbourne, ending talk of an MCG bogey and raising expectations of the AFL's top side.

The Eagles went three games clear at the top of the ladder with their 15-point win, 15.15 (105) to 13.12 (90).

A combination of West Coast inaccuracy in the first half and Melbourne's doggedness kept the margin close, but the Eagles were certainly the better team.

They go into the mid-season break on 12 wins and one loss, while Melbourne could drop to third on 9-4 if Geelong beats Brisbane on Sunday.

Eagles coach John Worsfold described this much-hyped game between top and second as "why you really play football" and his side relished the challenge.

Andrew Embley dominated with 35 possessions and three goals in a best-afield performance, Dean Cox controlled the ruck contests and also gave plenty at ground level, while small forward Phil Matera kicked four goals in the first term and six for the game.

Matera is enjoying a purple patch, having put through 15 in the last three matches.

No.1 Eagles onballer Chris Judd had "only" 16 touches, a quiet outing for him, to emphasise the depth of his team's midfield strength.

Another notable aspect of West Coast's win was its poise - Melbourne kept challenging, but could never quite bridge the gap.

"The pressure was going to be pretty intense and there's no doubt we matched it with them," Worsfold said.

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